Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP)
Pass through the 45 at 325-375 ft AGL at optimum AOA. At this position, you should acquire the ball.
From the 45 to the start, adjust AOB to arrive on centerline, maintain on-speed attitude and rate of descent
to arrive with a stabilized centered ball. An aggressive VSI scan from the 45 to the start position will allow
for a stabilized rate of descent and is paramount.
NOTE: The ball position at the 45 is mainly a reference and corrections should be made on the VSI.
Because of the width of the glideslope, flying the ball at the 45 will normally result in overcorrections.
The start is, without a doubt, the most important phase during FCLPs, carrier qualifications, and carrier-
type approaches. Pilots need to arrive wings level, on centerline, on speed with proper rate of descent to
maintain a centered ball. Poor starts are a direct result of improper abeam/180 positions, RODs that do
not allow for proper 90 and 45 altitudes, and not flying an optimum AOA. If the meatball is not acquired by
the start, a Clara call will be made.
The groove is the portion of the approach from a wings-level start to touchdown, ideally this should be 15-
18 seconds. With the ball in sight, call the ball: side number, aircraft type, ball, fuel state, qual number.
NOTE: Do not call the ball if the aircraft ahead of you is on the ball or just touching down. Never descend
below 300 ft AGL without a ball.
The glideslope is a 3.25 degree (above the horizon) fixed path determined by the angle of the Fresnel lens.
The rate of descent necessary to stay on this glideslope depends on your ground speed (and therefore
changes slightly with wind conditions). Proper execution of the approach requires an accurate, rapid scan.
Your goal on the approach is to keep the meatball centered, stay on centerline and on-speed AOA all the
way to touchdown.
Do not overcorrect the ball in close to at-the-ramp. If the ball starts to go low, apply enough power to stop
the balls movement. Likewise, if the ball goes high in close, do not attempt to recenter the ball but
stabilize it while maintaining AOA.
Correct for glideslope, lineup, and AOA with quick, aggressive coordination of stick and throttle. Make a
correction as soon as one is required; if you hesitate, you will encounter greater deviations. Make appro-
priate corrections all the way to touchdown.
Touchdown should occur on centerline, on-speed, with centered ball. Upon touchdown, simultaneously
advance power to MRT, retract speed brakes, rotate to optimum AOA (approximately 12 degrees nose up)
and establish a climb. Turn downwind off your interval (at 300 ft AGL or higher). Ensure feet are off the
The waveoff is a mandatory signal and comes in verbal form from the LSO, or in the form of red flashing
lights on the lens, or both. When performing a waveoff, simultaneously level the wings and advance
power to MRT while retracting your speed brakes, maintaining landing attitude, and climb.
With your descent stopped, establish an optimum AOA rate of climb. When you have established a
comfortable climb and are approaching pattern altitude (600 ft AGL), adjust power as necessary to main-
tain altitude and pattern airspeed.